The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece of California’s Transportation Future

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

California’s transportation future is bright. In every area of transportation innovation, California-based companies are leading the way. Consortiums of major global companies have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area, pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from not just automakers, but cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies. In Southern California […]

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California’s Unsustainable Energy Policies

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

Glowing tributes to Governor Jerry Brown’s environmental legacy obscure how long California has been proclaiming itself the leader in fighting “climate change.” The crusade began with Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who promoted and signed the “Global Warming Solutions Act” in 2006, setting initial targets for greenhouse-gas reduction and empowering the California Air Resources Board to enforce compliance […]

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Will the California Supreme Court Reform the “California Rule?” 

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

Most pension experts believe that without additional reform, pension payments are destined to put an unsustainable burden on California’s state and local governments. Even if pension fund investments meet their performance objectives over the next several years, California’s major pension funds have already announced that payments required from participating agencies are going to roughly double in […]

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The Underrecognized, Undervalued, Underpaid, Unfunded Pension Liabilities

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

“It’s the economy, stupid.” –  Campaign slogan, Clinton campaign, 1992 To paraphrase America’s 42nd president, when it comes to public sector pensions – their financial health and the policies that govern them – it’s the unfunded liability, stupid. The misunderstood, obfuscated, unaccountable, underrecognized, undervalued, underpaid, unfunded pension liabilities. According to CalPERS own data, California’s cities that […]

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A Post-Janus Agenda for California’s Public Sector Unions

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

“If you do not prevail in this case, the unions will have less political influence; yes or no?” Kennedy asked. “Yes, they will have less political influence,” Frederick answered. –  an excerpt from the Janus vs. AFSCME trial, quoted in the Washington Post, February 26, 2018 Earlier this week the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the […]

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A Modest Proposal for California from a Public Servant

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

“When I see someone attacking the benefits the Fire Department receives or the Police Department receives, my concern is: Why wouldn’t you expect the same for yourself? We should act as a beacon.” —Mike Mohun, president of the San Ramon Firefighters Union, quoted in the New York Times, March 2, 2017 There are many compelling reasons […]

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Environmentalism Provides Moral Cover for New Taxes to Fund Pensions

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

There are two intertwined themes that define unionized government in California. First, funding government retiree pensions will soak up every new source of tax revenue they will ever collect. Second, cloaking new taxes and fees – and new agencies – in the virtuous raiment of environmentalism will deflect criticism and demonize critics. Here’s why: Now […]

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California’s Total Government Debt Rises to $1.3 Trillion

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

A just released study calculates the total state and local government debt in California as of June 30, 2015, at over $1.3 trillion. Authored by Marc Joffe and Bill Fletcher at the California Policy Center, this updates a similar exercise from three years ago that put the June 30, 2012 total at $1.1 trillion. As a percent of GDP, […]

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Association of Pension Funds Blacklists Reform Organizations

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

In a press release from the National Conference On Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) dated December 19, 2016, the California Policy Center, and its spinoff online publication, UnionWatch, were both chosen, for the 2nd year in a row, as one of only 28 “policy and research organizations” that NCPERS has deemed to be “Think Tanks that Undercut Pensions.” Ponder the significance […]

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Californians Approve $5.0 Billion per Year in New Taxes

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

For the last few years, using data provided by the watchdog organization CalTax, we have summarized the results of local bond and tax proposals appearing on the California ballot. Nearly all of them are approved by voters, and this past November was no exception. With only a couple of measures still too close to call (TCTC), as […]

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